The furor is growing over John McCain's repeated statements to four media outlets (i.e., it wasn't just a slip of the tongue, McCain actually believes this stuff) over the past 24 hours that there are numerous "safe neighborhoods" in Baghdad where Americans can walk around in total safety. McCain even went one step further, in an effort to explain his support for the "surge," McCain lied about our commanding general in Iraq, General Petraeus - and Petraeus has now called him on it.
More from the DNC:
John McCain is in Florida today after igniting a flurry of controversy by claiming on Bill Bennet's talk show that, "there are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods today." [Bill Bennett's Morning in America, 3/26/07] Asked about McCain's blatant attempt to spin the facts on the ground, CNN's Baghdad correspondent, Michael Ware, responded with a quick "No" and said, "no way on earth can a westerner, particularly an American, stroll any street of this capital of more than five million people...You barely would last 20 minutes out there. I don't know what part of Neverland Senator McCain is talking about when he says we can go strolling in Baghdad."Let me just add that these are the reasons McCain gave for supporting the surge. And his reasons are wrong. Is this the kind of quality, or lack thereof, that Americans want to see in a future war president? A guy who makes critical war decisions based on things that simply aren't true?
McCain refused to back down from his comments, however, telling NBC's Today Show from Orlando this morning that there are "many signs of success...neighborhoods in Baghdad that are largely certainly much more secure," and telling ABC's Good Morning America that "you look at facts on the ground...there are neighborhoods that are calm." McCain's sprinkling of pixie dust in response to ABC came on a question about whether he has "to be looking at Iraq through rose-colored glasses to see progress" when one hundred people have been killed in "just the last day, [in] the same town the president used last year as an example of freedom taking hold." [NBC Today, 3/28/07; ABC's Good Morning America, 3/28/07]
"John McCain seems to think that walking through Baghdad is as easy as his march away from campaign finance reform and his image as a so-called 'maverick,'" said Democratic National Committee spokesman Luis Miranda. "With his rhetoric coming under fire, McCain had better hope the Double Talk Express got the armor that our troops have been forced to do without. Misrepresenting the facts on the ground in Iraq might be the latest tactic for McCain's do-anything-to-win campaign, but after hearing the same thing from the Bush Administration for four years, the American people would no doubt prefer a new direction."